My Most Recent QSO's

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

500 Miles @ 1 Watt

I worked N9HAL (again) last night on 40 meters. It seems he's always on 7056 Mhz listening with the 'ol Hammurland receiver. The really exciting thing (about the contact this time) was that I was only using one watt of power. He's just a few miles short of the "magic" 500 mile mark from me in West Virginia. I'm sure I could have worked him with 500 mw..... and I'm still trying for the 1,000 mile a watt award. Bob is 498.8 miles from me.....

There's a lot to be said about the old tube gear. My most distant contacts, on 40 meters, have been made with guys using the "old stuff". I just can't say enough about the Drake and Collins filtering. My distant contacts in California this year have been with those using old Collins gear.

I also worked another Canadian station yesterday (VE3SOR) on 7028. Although we both had good signal reports on each other (579-599), I couldn't continue until we shifted up about 30 kc because of QRM. I just don't have the filtering for all the big guys on this freq.

I continue to be amazed at the 1 watt or less contacts...what a hoot!

It really makes me want to get into the woods with a good antenna. My friend Gari (K8KFJ) and I talked yesterday about how "quiet" operations are when getting away from all the electrical noise in town.

Sure hope there isn't any more talk about 'broadband' over the phone lines. A friend of mine in England (G4ILO) recently went QRT due to electrical noise. It's going to be the 'nail in the coffin' for those of us using indoor antenna's.


Akshay Mishra said...

Would like to enquire on the performance on the isotron (?) antenna. I am planning to get one and want to be sure if it works (have seen many reviews either side of the line.) I am on limited space to be able to connect a dipole.


Jspiker said...

Since retirement a few years ago, I've worked about 400 stations with the 40 and 20 meter antenna's.

Nearly 100 of those have been 2x QRP. I've worked 17 different DX stations in Eastern Europe.

A few days ago, I worked a station in Alaska and a French station near Paris.

I don't know what else I could say about an indoor antenna....they work fantastic from here at 600 ft elevation in a valley.

As with any "vertical" type antenna, keep it away from metal and keep the feedline nice and straight.

I get performance similiar to or better than a 1/2 wave dipole.

Dick said...

You really have been doing great with your Isotron. Tell, me do you use an antenna tuner with it, or have you been able to prune it so that a tuner is not necessary. By the way, I am 100% cw QRP with a Buddistick, but would be interested to know more about the Isotron on 20M.


Jspiker said...

I never have to touch the 40 meter's always worked flawlessly and no need to EVER touch it.

I rarely have to touch the 20 meter antenna but when so, I literally reach up with my hand, and move the coutnerpoise rod.

The 80 meter antenna is another story....VERY touchy and too broad to cover the entire band. It's designed to cover the entire 80 meter band by placing the "tuning hats" in different locations and adjusting it accordingly.

What can you say...80 meters is normally a LONG length of wire? I suppose it functions as advertised.

I always use the "tuner" in my Icom 703 but have confidence that it will work perfectly on 40 and 20meters without problems.

Before I moved to this location, I lived in a 30 unit apartment building and ran my station by placing the 40 meter antenna on a "painters pole" extended from the outside stair railing.

I used a MFJ 9040 with a tuner and it worked very well.

When I first set up the "combo", no matter what I did, I couldn't get the SWR under control and lost portions of the 40 meter band. (my favorite).

After talking with the support people at Isotron, I was able to feed the "combo" on the 40 meter antenna and it's worked just fine.

(you usually feed it on the 20 meter antenna).

I know there are many comments on this antenna (good and bad) but I think most of the criticism has to do with not reading directions and tuning correctly.

I HAVE noticed it's very sensitive to "metal" structures. It's also important to keep the feedline as straight as possible. Seriously tho...this is with ALL antenna's.

Mine has worked very well...and considering MOST of my operations are from "indoors" these days, I'm VERY happy with it.

My most recent 20 meter contact has been Bulgaria with a good RST.

I've also worked Spain (3), France, Germany (2), Poland, Hungary, Croatia, England, Finland (can't recall them all just now)but....99% if them have been in "pile ups".

I've also worked Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba. (with a G5RV from the Outer Banks of NC).

Of course, everyone knows about the sun spots...they're just terrible. This morning, the solar flux was 68...

This morning, on 40 meters, I was able to hear NT7P in Oregon.

Dick said...

Thanks for providing all the info on your use of the Isotron. I gather that, based on your input, you don't use an antenna tuner. And, you are able to adjust your Isotrons to acceptable SWR levels by adjusting the antennas themselves. Always the best way ...if possible. I have recently found it necessary to employ a little MFJ tuner as my set-up is too compromised to properly adjust my antenna without an extra "tweak" from my tuner.

Continued Good luck and success with your Isotuner AND QRP.

73 N2UGB

Steve73 said...

I just orded an Isotron 80/40 combo antenna system. Have you had any problems with generating RF interference to your neighbors when you operated from an apartment?


MikeM said...

I bought a 40 meter Isotron and am using it in a spare bedroom. I mounted it on a 5 foot Radio Shack tv mast and mounted the mast in a 3 foot tripod for stability. I received a 20 meter isotron and am planning on adding it to the 40 meter antenna. N8ZYA, we'll have to have a 40 mtr isotron to 40 mtr isotron qso!